As the UK’s collapsing position in Afghanistan worsens by the hour, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has recalled Parliament for the middle of next week to take stock of the developing disaster.
The news was announced at the same the PM was presiding over an emergency Cobra meeting on Sunday afternoon (August 15).
Following the Cobra meeting, Johnson admitted the situation on the ground “continues to be extremely difficult” and will likely deteriorate in the coming days.
The PM also called on “like-minded” powers (presumably the West), to not recognize the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The emergency session at the House of Commons will begin on Wednesday (August 18) at 09.30 am and is set to conclude by 14:30 pm. Meanwhile the session at the House of Lords is set to begin at 11:00 am.
Parliament closed down for the summer recess on July 22 and was not due to reconvene until September 06.
Underscoring the gravity of the crisis, The Sunday Telegraph is claiming the UK’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Laurie Bristow, is going to be evacuated by tonight.
Opposition parties have backed Johnson’s decision to recall Parliament even though it is not clear what can be achieved at this late hour with events on the ground in Kabul developing at a frenzied pace, all to the detriment of the UK and its ally the US.
Labor Party leader, Keir Starmer, issued the following statement supporting the PM’s decision: "We need Parliament recalled so the government can update MPs on how it plans to work with allies to avoid a humanitarian crisis and a return to the days of Afghanistan being a base for extremists whose purpose will be to threaten our interests, values and national security".
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: "The prime minister should call in all political parties and ensure that we [UK] respond with unity and purpose".